Grassroots Effort Via Social Media Earns Honors for CUNA
- (February 5, 2014) The Credit Union National Association (CUNA) - the nation's largest advocacy group for credit unions - has been awarded a "grassroots Innovation award" from the Public Affairs Council for the association's outreach through social media to help energize public support for credit unions' tax-exempt status.
CUNA was honored with the Social Media Innovation Award for the association's "#DontTaxTuesday" Twitter and Facebook campaigns, which took place on July 23 and Sept. 10, 2013.
The "#DontTaxTuesday" event was a part of the broader grassroots campaign dubbed "Don't Tax My Credit Union." The campaign advocates maintaining the federal tax exemption for credit unions, which is based on their structure as non-profit, cooperative financial institutions.
On July 23 and Sept. 10, CUNA employed social media to encourage state credit union associations ("leagues"), members of credit unions, and other advocates and supporters to directly contact legislators with the unified message of "Don't Tax My Credit Union."
Since the "Don't Tax My Credit Union" campaign began in May 2013, more than 1.3 million direct messages have poured in to Congress. (The effort became bilingual effort when the campaign added a Spanish-language component last summer.)
"We could not be happier with the success of our social media advocacy," said Richard Gose, Senior Vice President of Political Affairs at CUNA. "We owe much of our success to the dedication and willing engagement of our credit union members and advocates. Credit union members value their credit unions so much that they actually want to reach out to lawmakers to assist in protecting that value."
For the first "Don't Tax Tuesday" in July, more than 5,200 messages were posted to Twitter with the #DontTaxMyCU hashtag; roughly 2,000 of those were sent directly to members of Congress.
For the second "Don't Tax Tuesday" in September, CUNA developed Twitter and Facebook plug-ins on the website "www.DontTaxMyCreditUnion.org" allowing advocates to simply enter their addresses and Twitter handles to directly Tweet their legislators or post messages on Facebook supporting the overall campaign.
The second "Don't Tax Tuesday" boasted nearly 8,000 Tweets including the CUNA advocacy hashtags, with 5,000 of the messages directly tagging lawmakers.
The Grassroots Innovation Award is bestowed annually at the Public Affairs Council's National Grassroots Conference, this year held Feb. 4-6 in Miami Beach. The award recognizes the nation's best grassroots programs and campaigns in the categories of Corporate Innovation, Association Innovation, and Social Media Innovation
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